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Special Camp for Special Kids has three primary sources of revenue: 1) camper and counselor tuition, 2) foundational grants, and 3) private donations. The scarcity of summer camp programs providing meaningful opportunities for school-age children with disabilities is a problem that Special Camp for Special Kids is attempting to address through its mission and vision.

Due to statewide budget cutbacks, there are few opportunities for children with disabilities to participate in summer camp programs, especially in South Orange County. Prohibitive medical costs burden many families of children with disabilities; therefore, some families struggle to afford the expense of special summer programs or day care. Since its inception, Special Camp has sought to provide an affordable summer experience to its participants. Thus, our tuition revenue only provides approximately 50 % of our annual operating costs. Annually, the program seeks to raise over $35,000 to make the dream of Special Camp a reality.

The only reason Special Camp for Special Kids has been able to give so much to the Southern California community, especially the disabled community, is because of the support we have received from outstanding foundations, businesses, and individuals. The Special Camp program has been recognized and supported by foundations and organizations such as the Irvine Health Foundation, The George Hoag Foundation, the Pacific Mutual Foundation, The Orange County Community Foundation, and The Council for Exceptional Children. Additionally, The generous support of corporations and businesses such as PepsiCo, IMPAC Funding Corporation, In-N-Out Burgers, Taco-Bell, Edwards Cinema, Laguna Niguel Rotary Foundation, Inc., Esoteric Edibles, Panda Express, Scarantino's Italian Inn, The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, and St. Margaret's Episcopal School and Church allows Special Camp to continue providing a unique summer camp experience.

Financial and gift-in-kind donations given by the community are essential in securing the infrastructure of the program. However, Special Camp continues to seek and need additional support from the community as our programming, enrollment, staffing, and outreach expands. Donors are also needed to sponsor campers and counselors for the weeks of camp. Approximately 20% of Special Camp's annual budget is appropriated for camper and counselor scholarships. In Special Camp's ten-year history, no applicant has ever been turned away because of financial need. It is a primary goal of the program to offer tuition assistance to any applicant who demonstrates a need. We seek the community's help each year to provide financial, gift-in-kind, and scholarship support. The Special Camp family can only exist and flourish with the generous support from corporations, foundations, businesses, and private individuals.

Each year the number of applicants increases. Some campers and counselors drive more than sixty miles daily to attend Special Camp. Families submit applications months in advance, and camp sessions are usually full three months prior to the start of camp. The tremendous growth experienced by the program has been a welcomed blessing to the community and to the program itself. However, the program's development has also provided many new challenges. Special Camp has been forced to establish an enrollment cap to ensure the safety of all of its participants and to preserve the "Special Camp experience." In the past three years, Special Camp has developed extensive waiting lists for camper and counselor applicants.

In addition to annual support for the program, Special Camp is exploring and seeking out opportunities to expand this life-changing summer experience to other parts of the Southern California community and the nation. A preliminary long-range plan has the goal of expanding to a site in the Northern Orange County area by the summer of 2005. The vision of the Special Camp family is that this program will be a nationwide endeavor incorporated under a future Special Camp for Special Kids foundation.

If you are interested in offering annual support of Special Camp by providing financial, gift-in-kind, and/or scholarship support, or if you are interested in supporting Special Camp's long-term mission and vision through foundation support, endowment planning, large corporate or private gifts, and any other ways of giving, please do not hesitate to contact Special Camp for Special Kids.

Important contacts for giving to Special Camp:

Kathleen Paylor
Advancement Office
St. Margaretís Episcopal School
(949) 661-0108, Ext. 318

Maureen McAndrews
Advancement Office
St. Margaretís Episcopal School
(949) 661-0108, Ext. 255

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